‘Seinfeld’: How Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes Paved the Way for Awkward Female Leads from Leslie Knope to Hannah Horvath

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is not the first female comedian to make her mark on television, but she has participated in innovative work for female actors everywhere.

First, Elaine on Seinfeld he was not supposed to be a character at all. And when Louis Dreyfus realized she wasn’t getting the same funny stuff her male co-stars had, she didn’t let him down. The Seinfeld alum was fighting for what it deserved.

Elaine has a lot of funny female actors to thank for paving the way for weird female protagonists in sitcoms.

Network supporters urge woman to contribute to ‘Seinfeld’ throw

Seinfeld was thrown
Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander as George Costanza, Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Elaine Benes, Michael Richards as Cosmo Kramer | George Lange / NBCU / NBCUniversal Photo Bank via Getty Images

Not many fans understand it, except the original pilot for the hit series, so called The Seinfeld Chronicles, completely bombarded by the test listeners. And NBC execs thought they knew the obvious solution, Chicago Tribune recitation.

“We said, ‘You have to add a girl,'” recalled Warren Litchfield, a former NBC employee. “We’re not going to tell you much, but add a woman.”

And when they did, they didn’t go for the usual look and the quiet side. Elaine was boisterous, raunchy, and just as sad as her three male co-stars. Audiences were amazed and delighted to see it.

“Someone with her level of intelligence, matched with an incredibly young childhood, when those two things come together well, is the magic of comedy,” Jerry Seinfeld said of the role.

Elaine Benes on ‘Seinfeld’ was unlike any other female comedy show

It’s true that Elaine’s stories dealt with her life, but she was also single with no experience and had other interests besides just landing. Her stories on display included many other interests, such as her career and hobbies, not just finding love.

Elaine is one of Jerry ‘s exes, but with the exception of one show (“The Mango”), they never allow their former status to make things weird. Instead, Elaine is just as much a part of the team as the boys, and she’s no sweeter or kinder than they are. She relies heavily on physical comedy and delights everyone with her dance moves.

Contemporary comedians call Louis-Dreyfus an inspiration

Amy Schumer believes that Elaine from Seinfeld is a true role model for what a woman in comedy can be, and not the only one.

“She has not done what we are all taught, as women: to be self-sufficient, to control your impulses,” she said. Railway track told alum Time. “She was not interested in filling that position we were all sold out about how women should be. ”

“Maybe that contributed to my development as a person as well as an actor,” she continued.

Parks and Recreation star Amy Poehler also received high praise for Louis-Dreyfus in her 2014 speech (via Vulture), calling her “everyone’s favorite” and saying, “she’s like us, but softer and better.”

Elaine still has a huge influence in female comedy

While they may not always be understood, even today’s TV writers use the innovative work of Louis-Dreyfus to shape the shape of humorous female characters. Instead of making them softer or more like men, writers feel empowered to allow women to become self-assured owners. Even when it is deceptive or unattractive.

From Girls to Parks and Recreation, today ‘s female comedians can do and say anything they want, thank you Seinfeld‘s Elaine Benes. Just as it should be.

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